Saturday, January 8, 2011

Packing the Luggage

Ricky asked, since we returned the keys of our rented apartment, whether we were living in the streets now. Not yet: we are at my parents' house today and tomorrow night. Then we're off to Africa. Today, we spent the morning packing our luggage. We are taking three carry-on backpacks and one small bag. We will not check luggage, except as a last resort. Two of the backpacks have wheels.

The backpack without wheels contains: a large mosquito net, three sleeping sacks, a travel towel, insect repellant, a steripen, batteries, a flashlight, two clothing lines (they are small), binoculars, a sink stopper, a sleeping bag, flip-flops for us and Crocs for Ricky, one sleeping bag, one bag with a first-aid kit and another bag of toiletries.  

The first-aid kit is stuffed full. We packed: band-aids, antibiotic ointment, hydrocortisone cream, antiseptic wipes, a thermometer, ibuprofen and acetaminophen (regular and pediatric), pediatric cough suppressant, pediatric amoxicillin and azithromyocin, cipro, Pepto-Bismol pills, hydration powder envelopes (pediatric), a laxative, eye drops, ear drops, nasal decongestant (regular and pediatric), an antihistamine, Dramamine, Malarone (as a prophylactic treatment for malaria), asthma inhaler.

The toiletries we are taking are: shampoo, conditioner, a small bar of soap, a nail clipper, a brush, a comb, children’s shampoo, three toothbrushes, toothpaste, lip balm with sun protection, two bottles of sunscreen, a razor, blades, shaving cream, feminine products, baby wipes, tweezers, two travel-size deodorants, q-tips, dental floss, hand cream, a small mirror, contact lens stuff.

The other two backpacks have our clothing. One of them has Bryan and Ricky’s things and the other one has mine (plus I will stuff some books into mine). For Ricky, we are taking: two and a half pairs of pajamas (odd, I know), socks and underwear, two sweatpants, one sun hat, six short-sleeved shirts, two long-sleeved shirts, two bathing suits, goggles, cap for the pool, four pairs of shorts, two khaki pants (thin, quick-drying), a rain jacket. He will wear jeans, a sweatshirt, a jacket and sneakers.

Bryan has packed a bunch of shirts, both long and short sleeved, and pants and pajamas. I’m not sure exactly what else. For me, I’ve packed nine tops (women’s tops take up no room), one bathing suit, two skirts, one dress, one pair of thin pants from REI, socks and underwear, a rain jacket, a hat, and a pair of sneakers. I will wear jeans and black shoes and a jacket on the plane. I may pack a sweater for me and another for Ricky. I should also pack some detergent, because we’re going to be doing a lot of laundry by hand, all over the world.


  1. I wouldn't have thought to pack a sink stopper. And what is the difference between a sleeping sack and a sleeping bag?
    I'm so amazed that you are able to get all you need for such an extended period into 3 carry bags. When this is done, you need to turn your blog into a "how to" manual for road tripping families.
    You leave Monday! Eeeeeeeeeeee!!! So exciting!

  2. A sleeping sack is a sheet shaped like a sleeping bag. Who knows if what we're packing will be enough! We'll know soon enough. Very exciting!

  3. I didn't see anything for diarrhea. Definately pick something up. Also, you'll want to carry a roll of toilet paper :)

  4. Oh wow! And I thought I packed light! Guess you're going to be focusing on places that don't get too cold since I noticed there aren't many items that are particularly warm. Good luck

  5. Gideon, I forgot to add we're taking something called protector for diarrhea. Toilet paper? Maybe I should pack some, just in case.

    We're going mostly to warm places, but we're wearing our winter jackets on the plane, and we'll buy more warmer stuff if we need it. Thanks, Anne!